Navigating Coffee Culture An Expats Guide to San Marino

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As an expat living in San Marino, one of the most enriching ways to immerse yourself in local culture is through coffee. From traditional brews to specialty blends, San Marino offers an array of coffee experiences that are both delicious and unique. Here is a guide to help you navigate coffee culture in San Marino.

Understanding Coffee Origins and Production

Coffee is not just a drink but also a crop that has deep cultural significance in San Marino. San Marino's coffee industry is small, but it produces high-quality coffee that is renowned for its distinct taste and aroma. In fact, San Marino produces only a small fraction of the coffee consumed in the country, with most coffee being imported. This makes locally sourced coffee a rare and precious gem for coffee enthusiasts.

San Marino's coffee beans are mainly grown in the northern regions of the country, such as Chiesanuova and Falconara Marittima. Arabica beans are the most common variety grown in San Marino, and they are known for their delicate flavors and aromas. Robusta beans are also grown but in smaller quantities.

If you're an expat who loves coffee, it's a great opportunity to explore coffee plantations and farms firsthand. One such farm is La Bastiglia di Leontina in Montegiardino, which is open to visitors. The farm offers guided tours, tastings, and workshops, where you can learn about the coffee-making process, from harvesting the beans to roasting and grinding them.

Embracing Favorite Coffee Style Drinks

San Marino's coffee culture is rich and diverse, offering a range of coffee styles that are unique to the region. From classic brews to innovative blends, there is a coffee style for every palate. Here are some coffee styles that you should try:

  1. Caffé Lungo: This is a long espresso, typically served in a glass. It is brewed using a special machine that dispenses hot water through the coffee grounds, resulting in a smoother and less acidic coffee than a regular espresso.
  2. Caffé Freddo: This is an iced coffee, mixed with sugar syrup and chilled water or milk. It is a popular drink during the hot summer months.
  3. Caffé Ristretto: This is an espresso shot that is brewed using less water than a regular espresso. It is a strong and concentrated coffee, perfect for those who like their coffee bold and intense.
  4. Caffé allo Zafferano: This is an exotic coffee, mixed with saffron and sugar syrup. It is a unique and flavorful coffee that is popular in San Marino.

Embracing Coffee Drinking Customs and Traditions

Coffee drinking customs and traditions are an integral part of San Marino's culture. In San Marino, coffee is not just a drink, but it also plays a significant role in social interactions and daily life. Here are some coffee customs and traditions that you should know:

  • In San Marino, coffee is traditionally drunk standing up at the bar, rather than at a table. This is known as "bar consumption."
  • Coffee is often served with almond cookies or pastries such as cannoli, focaccia, and pasticcini.
  • It's a common practice in San Marino to offer a friend coffee as a sign of friendship and hospitality. When offered coffee, it's polite to accept it and drink it slowly, savoring its flavor.
  • In San Marino, coffee is an essential part of breakfast. A traditional breakfast in San Marino includes coffee, bread, and croissants.
  • The most common coffeehouses in San Marino are small cafes called "caffè." These cafes are often family-owned and have been in business for generations.

Expat-Friendly Coffee Shops and Cultural Experiences

San Marino offers a wide range of coffeehouses and cafes that cater to diverse tastes and preferences. Here are some expat-friendly coffee shops and cultural experiences that you should check out:

  • Le Cupole in Rimini: This is a stylish cafe that offers a range of coffee styles and avant-garde interior design.
  • Boschetto in San Marino: This is a cozy cafe located in the historic center of San Marino. It offers a range of coffee styles and traditional pastries.
  • La Vecchia Casa di Paulina in San Marino: This is a museum located in a historic house that dates back to the 16th century. It offers a unique cultural experience where you can learn about San Marino's history and traditions.
  • La Osteria del Melograno in Montegranaro: This is a restaurant that offers a unique coffee experience. The restaurant serves a traditional San Marino coffee made from coffee beans, lemon peel, and orange peel. The coffee is infused with the citrus flavors, resulting in a unique and flavorful coffee.


In conclusion, San Marino's coffee culture is rich and diverse, offering a range of coffee experiences that are both delicious and unique. By understanding the coffee origins and production, embracing your favorite coffee styles, and respecting the coffee-drinking customs and traditions, you'll be able to connect with local communities and experience authentic cultural experiences through coffee.

Remember, coffee is not just a drink, but it also plays a significant role in daily life and social interactions in San Marino. Embrace the coffee culture, and you'll find new friends, new experiences, and a deeper appreciation for the country's rich cultural heritage.

So, go ahead and start your coffee journey in San Marino! Cheers to deepening your cultural experiences through coffee.